Friday, August 22, 2014

7-11 Busog Meals - Affordable Meals



Let me go straight to what this blog post is all about – I am so happy with 7-11s Busog Meals. For as low as P29 you can already have a satisfying meal. I like the Tuna Omelet, Giniling and Sisig. I mean you just get the box you want, bring it to the cashier, pay up and they’ll heat it up for you. Fast and furious. I mean fast and easy. No chopping, cooking, setting and washing required. All for P29. They have other meals too like adobo, pinakbet, spareribs, etc. (but these are the more expensive ones -- but they’re all under P100.). Anyway, the best part is you can eat any of these anytime of the day almost anywhere in the metro. Any questions?   

Monday, August 04, 2014

8 Ways to Cook Adobo Including Adobo sa Puti and Adobo sa Gata



Adobo, be it pork or chicken, is a favorite of Filipinos here in the Philippines or elsewhere. It’s very flavorful that’s why it’s no wonder why we like it. And add to that, it is not very difficult to prepare. The nice thing is that it has also evolved because there are now a lot of versions of the Pinoy Adobo. I will be showing you the basic adobo recipe and then give you some ideas on how this traditional dish has been tweaked to suit varying tastes of Filipinos.

This recipe uses pork but you can use chicken or combination of the two.

Ingredients:

1/2 kilo pork, cut in serving pieces
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar, cane or palm preferably
4 gloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon peppercorns
2-3 pieces bay leaves
sugar
salt

Procedures:

1. In a medium pot, combine pork, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and soy sauce. Let it stand for about 30 minutes to let the pork absorb the flavor (but this part is optional especially if you are in a hurry).
2. Simmer in a low heat until pork is tender (usually around 30 minutes). Add water if necessary.
3.Pour vinegar and simmer for another 10 minutes.
4. Add salt and sugar according to your taste.
5. Remove from heat after you’ve reached the desired sauce thickness.

Variations:

Frying
Some fry the pork or chicken a little after step number 2. It is best to fry it until it start turning brown.

With Pineapple
You may add pineapple juice along with vinegar in step number 4. For this proportion, ½ cup will do. You may then add the pineapple chunks just before you remove it from heat or when you are about to serve it. Pineapple adds an interesting sweet-sour twist to the additional adobo.

With Potatoes
You can add 3 medium sized potatoes to your adobo. Dice it well and add halfway through step 2. Potatoes are added for added nutrition and of course as extenders.

With ginger and onions
Ginger and onions are added for additional flavor. Ginger also helps remove what is known in the Philippines as “lansa” of chicken. I think this style originated in Ilocos.

With Liver spread and crushed peanuts
Add one can of liver spread and ¼ cup of crushed peanuts in step 3. This makes the sauce thicker. It also provides a nice texture to the dish.

Adobo sa Puti/White Adobo
This is a very nice twist to the original adobo. They are essentially the same except for the use of rock salt instead of soy sauce. When I prepare this, I usually do this with the “frying” version. But it is still good even without it.

Adobo sa Gata

Ingredients:

1/2 kilo chicken, cut in serving pieces
1 ½ cup coconut milk
1/4 cup vinegar
4 gloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon peppercorns
2-3 pieces bay leaves
salt

Procedures:

1. In a medium pot boil chicken, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and vinegar in low heat until chicken is tender (usually around 15 minutes).
2. Add coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Remove from heat after you’ve reached the desired sauce thickness.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

3 Simple Corned beef Recipes



Like sardines and instant noodles, corned beef is also one of the first things a person thinks of when he needs instant or immediate meal. It’s one of the canned goods one usually stocks in the cupboard for “emergencies”. Though corned beef is normally flavorful, it can still be boring if you have it often. So here are some suggestions on how you can raise it up to the next level.

3 Simple Corned Beef Recipes


Potato Salad with Corned Beef


Ingredients
½ kilo marble potatoes, boiled
2 cups corned beef (canned)
¼ cup carrots cut into small cubes
¾ cups mayonnaise
¼ cup pickle relish
¼ cup onions (optional)
3 tbsp. spring onions(optional)
Salt and pepper

·         In a large bowl, put the boiled marble potatoes, unpeeled.
·         In a separate bowl mix mayonnaise, pickle relish, onions, spring onions and carrots.
·         Add corned beef (can be straight out of the can or you can microwave it for a couple of minutes if are not into eating food straight from the container). If you’re using the corned beef chunk/block variety, you may need to boil it first in water because it is usually a little too salty.
·         Add salt and pepper to taste.
·         Pour over the marble potatoes to coat.


Corned Beef and Cabbage


Ingredients
2 cups corned beef (canned)
½ cup onions, chopped
½ cup garlic, chopped
1 medium head of cabbage, sliced into small strips
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Salt and pepper

·         Heat oil in a pan and sauté the garlic.
·         Add the onions. Stir occasionally until it starts to brown.
·         Add cabbage slices. Stir occasionally until it starts to brown. You may divide your cabbage slices into two or three parts so you don’t have to sauté all at once. This way you can be sure that the cabbage will brown evenly.
·         Add salt and pepper to taste.
·         Set aside sautéed cabbage.
·         Heat oil in another pan.
·         Add corned beef. Stir for a couple of minutes or until it starts to brown.
·         Then add the sautéed cabbage should you wish that they be combined or youcan also serve the corned beef and cabbage unmixed (in one plate, side by side).


 Corned Beef Stew


Ingredients
3 cups corned beef, canned
2 medium potatoes, cubed
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tbsp. onions, chopped
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups beef broth
Salt and pepper

·         Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and garlic. Stir until it starts to brown.
·         Add the corned beef and stir for a couple of minutes.
·         Pour beef broth. Boil for a few minutes. This shouldn’t take as long as you cook regular beef.
·         Add potatoes and carrots. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until they soften.
·         Add diluted cornstarch (dilute 1 tbsp. cornstarch in 2 tbsp. water).
·         Simmer for a couple of minutes.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

SumoSam - Wanna Go Japanese?

Last week I had dinner with friends at SumoSam in Greenbelt 3. There are a lot of restaurants in  that area but we chose SumoSam because we simply wanted to go Japanese that  night. We weren't up to taking a gamble so we chose a place we know we like based on previous experience.

The place is cozy with  just a few tables for customers. Lighting is also subdued which is actually to my liking.

We ordered Dynamite Roll, Spicy Tuna Salad, Tofu Steak, Sesame Chicken and Japanese Fried Rice.

The Dynamite Roll is something we usually order. I still don't know why it's called dynamite but it doesn't matter -- what matters is that we like it. For P268, you get 6 pieces  of dynamite rolls.



The Spicy Tuna Salad is also a favorite. It says Spicy and it really is spicy. I love the dressing. For also P268 you get large plate of salad -- lotsa greens and tuna chunks.

As for as I remember this is the  first time I am having Tofu Steak at SumoSam. My friend, however, appears to have eaten it quite a few times already. She asked the waiter to tell the kitchen not to make it dry. She said the last time she had it, the steak was cooked really dry. When it came, it was really like the opposite of dry -- I thought it we were given soup lol. For P 298 you also get a big bowl of tofu steak good enough for 3 people with regular appetite.


The Sesame Chicken is an instant favorite. Noodles and bean sprouts were cooked just right. It has several chunks of pork. And the sauce is perfect for the rice. For P288 you get a big plate of this yummy noodle dish.

We didn't order any drinks but we asked for their house tea served on glasses with ice cubes. Instant free iced tea. :)


Monday, July 28, 2014

How to Upgrade your Instant Noodles



Last week I posted 4 simple recipes on how to make sardines special. The blog post contains recipes like sardines omelette, crispy fried sardines, herbed sardines and tomato and basil sardines.

This week our highlight is instant noodles. Many Filipinos like instant noodles because it is very easy to prepare. But having it over and over can be boring. So you would really need these simple techniques to upgrade it. Do not worry because these are very simple and at the same time affordable.

Vegetize it


The simplest way to spice up your instant noodles is to add vegetables. Some of the vegetables you can add are:

·         Go green – watercress (kangkong), cabbage and spinach. You just simply cut your greens into small pieces and add them to your noodles. Add fish sauce to taste. Or you can also add shrimp paste if you want to take it a little further.
·         Go floral – add broccoli, cauliflower and carrots (yes, this is not similar to the previous two but it will add color). Mushrooms can be added too.Soy sauce or fish sauce can be added to improve the taste. Black pepper can also be added. You can also add a small amount of flour diluted in a little water to make the soup thicker.
·         Go beany – you’re not really gonna add beans here. What you need are bean sprouts. These are commonly used in many versions of Asian noodles so you cannot go wrong with it. Soy sauce and fried garlic can help improve the taste.

There are a lot of other vegetables that you can add like corn, peas, potato, etc. Do not feel limited by these suggestions. You can even mix and match.  

Let's Meat Up


Like vegetables, you can also add slices of meat to your instant noodles. Here are some suggestions.

·         Chicken – boil chicken fillet (add salt while boiling). You can shred or cut in cubes before adding. You can add a few ginger slices while cooking the instant noodles or you can just add it while boiling the chicken.
·         Pork – slice pork tenderloin thinly. Add it while cooking the instant noodles. If you have a little more time, you can fry pork (cut into small pieces – like the size of your thumb) first before adding to the noodles.
·         Beef – have the beef cut bacon-thin. Pan-grill the beef before adding to the noodles to let the taste come out.  

Sea-son


Seafood is also great for instant noodles.

·       Shrimp-ify – a very good way to upgrade your instant noodle is to add shrimps. You can add the shrimps while boiling or you can also grill it first.
·         Fish – fish fillet can also be added. The best way to do this is to fry the fish fillet first in butter before adding to the noodles. Once added, squeeze a slice of lemon to the soup. If you have more time, you can dip the fish fillet first in egg-flour batter before frying and adding to the noodle.
·         Clam-y – clams and mussels can also be added. Just add them while boiling the noodles. Once cooked, squeeze lemon or calamansi.

Matching Type


The nice thing about the suggestions mentioned above is that you can mix and match them. You can add vegetables, meat and seafood all together. Just make sure you find the right mix to please your palate. Here are some suggestions that I like.

·         Go green and pork (the fried version).
·         Go floral and beef.
·         Go beany and chicken
·         Go beany and beef.
·         Go green and fish.
·         Go floral and fish fillet (dipped in egg-flour batter).
·         Go beany and shrimps.
·         Go beany and clam-y.

Milky Way


If you’ve seen my Pinoy Laksa recipe you would know what I mean. You can actually add coconut milk and curry to your instant noodles to make it a little bit more exotic. A 2:1 water and coconut combination should be your guide. As for the curry, you can dissolve a small amount in little water before adding. Add shrimps and bean sprouts. You can add spring onions too.

We’re not done yet. There are still a few more suggestions here to upgrade your instant noodles.

Egg-cellent


You guessed that right – you’ll need some eggs for the following recipes.

·         You can simple add hardboiled egg to your instant noodle soup. Sprinkle spring onions.
·         You can also beat eggs and fry. After frying, you can cut it into strips and add on top of your noodle soup.
·         You also do the egg-drop technique. Beat the eggs before mixing into the boiling soup. Make sure to slowly add the eggs into the soup. And while you’re adding the egg, slowly stir.

Chitika